Tip: Covering Self in Paint Will Not Deter Taser Use

LTB default 777x437

A man in Cheyenne, Wyoming, expected police to have Tasers when they showed up at his house on a domestic violence call, so he was ready for them. When they arrived, they were confronted with a man covered in white latex paint.

"You see all this water-based paint?" he said to the officers.  "You shoot me with that and you'll kill me."

Warning! Electricity HurtsI'm not a scientist, although I did have a gift subscription to Scientific American for a year and I did read parts of several of those issues. My understanding of why water and electricity are dangerous is that the water increases conductivity and so increases the likelihood that electricity from a given source (wall socket, lightning bolt) will flow through you rather than something else on its way to wherever electricity goes. Since the electricity from a Taser is already going to flow through you, it doesn't matter that much if your skin is wet when it does.

That might all be BS, but the fact remains that the water-based-paint strategy didn't work. Twice. The man was subdued after a brief struggle, and was booked for domestic violence and various assault charges.

Police did say the officers' uniforms had to be cleaned, so maybe the paint strategy will have some deterrent effect in the future.

At the other end of the spectrum was the South African man who, in 2006, learned that a ritual medicinal preparation known as "muti" did not make him invisible to police, and immediately thereafter, learned it also would not stop bullets.